The inspector identified neighbourhood plan policy protecting community amenities as the most relevant up-to-date development plan policy, noting the gliding club was given special mention in the supporting text. This policy resisted development proposals resulting in either the loss of, or having a significant adverse effect on, an identified important community amenity.
The proposed poultry farm would comprise three 128 metre long poultry houses and other associated buildings, with capacity for up to 144,000 broiler chickens. The inspector was presented with detailed evidence provided by aviation experts for the council and the gliding club, which in her opinion demonstrated the safety of aircraft and gliders would be compromised in the event of an unforeseen event such as engine failure after take off, undershoot or bird strike. In such circumstances the location of the proposed poultry sheds would remove an area of land that could be used for forced landings, increasing the risk of serious injury or fatality. The club claimed a consequent reduction in operations in order to maintain safety standards would result in lost income and jeopardise its future. In the absence of evidence from the appellant to the contrary, the inspector decided on bvalance that the likely impact on the gliding club as a community amenity was not outweighed by the economic benefits of a new rural business and dismissed the appeal.
Inspector: Katie McDonald; Inquiry